This is my quick version of the classic french meat-and-bean dish. It’s a great way to extend leftover meats (read, after Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and the 4th of July) into a filling but surprisingly light dish. I just made it with leftover turkey with some sausage tossed in.
Cassoulet itself is a traditional French dish whose history and taste is hard to do justice too; there’s a lot of pride in it that is akin to the pride taken in chili or barbecue in the United States. It also seems to have been an influence on the American Baked Bean. You can learn some more here: http://www.dartagnan.com/60201/a3519/Eat-Like-a-Local/page-1.html
- 2 14 oz cans white beans, drained
- About 1 1/2 lbs assorted meats pre-cooked and/or preserved, diced. Roughly, match meat to the beans. It’s best with at least two kinds of meats, and if you don’t have enough meat, add precooked sausage or ham.
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp Herbs De Province.
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup beef or vegetable broth.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Up to 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350
- Dice your meats and set aside.
- Mix pepper, garlic, herbs de province, tomato paste, broth, olive oil.
- Pour beans and meat into casserole dish, mix thoroughly
- Pour mixture over beans and meat. Mix thouroughly.
- Add enough water to just cover beans and meat. Stir to mix.
- Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil. Bake for 30 minutes
I made this for a get-together and went over pretty well. Not overly remarkable, but also filling and it had a certain something to it – I have leftovers I’ll definitely be enjoying. It’s a basic recipe, one you can easily tweak.
A few suggestions:
- The Herbs De Province have a sharp edge not everyone may like. Replacing them with a different spice mixture might be a good idea – though I’m fond of Herbs De Province as a quick way to get a “French Flavor,” though it’s important to remember they’re basically an approximation of herbal mixtures from Provence.
- Adding a dash of ground cloves might be good.
- I think baking it uncovered for the entirety of the hour might be a good idea to really bring out the flavors.
- I served it with baked potatoes, which wer delightful in the sauce. It would probably go well with bread, or on smashed potatoes
The mix of meats was really delightful, so the more kinds the better!